Tommy Frank and Josh Wale are both International Boxing Organisation (IBO) belt holders, after coming through tough tests at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on November 29.
Frank faced Mexico’s Martin Tecuapetla for the IBO Inter-Continental Flyweight Title, while Wale took on Ghana’s Felix Williams for his IBO International Featherweight crown.
In the first of the headline bouts, Tommy had to negotiate the challenge of Tecuapetla, who fought like a typical Mexican. The South American pressured the local man from the opening bell, forcing the action and continually winging in shots. In a mature performance though, Frank remained calm under pressure, never let his opponent get on top, and threw the more eye-catching shots during the enthralling 10-round encounter. At the final bell, the judges all saw it the same way, with the ‘Steel City’ fighter earning a unanimous decision.
Tommy moves to 13-0 (3), Tecuapetla is now 15-12-4 (10).
With a well-earned reputation as a man never in a dull fight, Josh Wale lived up to expectations, delivering an action-packed 10-round slugfest in the second main event. The Barnsley man faced a potentially tricky night against Williams, who came to the ring with a 27-1 (20) record, but never let his African opponent gain a foothold in the fight. ‘The Outlaw’ met fire-with-fire from the opening bell, refused to be intimidated by the Ghanaian’s hard-hitting reputation, and spent most of the night backing up Williams against the ropes and pummelling away. Both men had success, but Josh produced all the pressure and landed, by far, the majority of scoring shots. At the final bell, two of the judges had the Yorkshireman the clear winner, with the third official serving up a baffling 95-95 scorecard.
Josh now moves on to a February 2020, Barnsley homecoming fight at 30-11-2 (14). Williams is 27-2 (20).
On the undercard, Rotherham heavyweight Kash Ali, 16-1 (8), returned to the ring after an enforced hiatus with a second round stoppage over Poland’s Artur Kubiak, 2-5 (1). The 27-year-old, who stopped his East European opponent with well-placed body shots, will be pleased to have got rid of some ring rust, and now looks forward to a busy 2020.
Also on the bill were wins for local fighters Sufyaan Ahmed, Kane Salvin and Keanen Wainwright, as well as debutants Perry Howe and Nathan Owen.
The action was broadcast live on Freesports.
After the show, promoter Dennis Hobson, boxing partner Steve Crump, and Kash Ali offered their thoughts on the night’s events – watch below: